A Quick and Easy Guide to Buying Textbooks as an Undergrad

With my last semester at USC Upstate beginning next week, now seemed like a good time to publish this bit of advice for undergrads. In the almost eight years I’ve spent working on my BA, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to avoid buyer’s remorse. With the economy still in recovery, and textbook inflation since 1978 nearing 900%,* it is now more important than ever that students save money when and where they can. The following post contains my three-step book-buying process, plus a handy collection of related tips. Continue reading

used e-books

There Won’t Be Any Used E-Books, and Here’s Why

I recently came across this article from Derek Haines at Just Publishing. It aims to cheer up those of us put off by recent attempts from Amazon and Apple to set up a “Netflix for books:” a service offering unlimited access to books for a monthly fee. The Internet has responded to announcements made by these two corporate giants with scorn, the gist of which is, “The library is already a Netflix for books! Why do you need anything else?” I won’t comment too much on this—Book Riot’s Kelly Jensen has an excellent rebuttal—but I will say that the convenience e-books provide travelers and students with budget and space constraints cannot be matched by conventional printed texts. That being said, the idea that e-booksellers will allow users to lend, resell, or give away their purchases is, at best, laughable, because history has not been kind to people who assume ownership over their digital purchases. Continue reading